Four more mines get demand notice for excess mining in Odisha

Notices issued as per the August 2, 2017 judgment of Supreme Court
A lorry and an earth-mover at a mining site. (Image used for representational purpose only)
A lorry and an earth-mover at a mining site. (Image used for representational purpose only)

BHUBANESWAR: After penalising Sarda Mines, the State government has sent demand notice to four more mines to recover price of minerals produced in excess of the environment clearance (EC) in violation of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Of the four iron ore mines, Essel Mining and Industries Ltd (EMIL), a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group, has been asked to pay a sum of about Rs 427 crore as compensation for excess production without lawful authority. The EMIL iron ore mine is located at Koira in Sundargarh district.The iron ore mines of JN Patnaik under Joda mining circle of Keonjhar district has been penalised for similar reason. The lease holder has been asked to pay Rs 21 crore for excess production than the permissible limit of environmental clearance.The Directorate of Mines has also issued demand notice to Geetarani Mohanty, the lease holder of Raikela mines under Koira circle, asking for a compensation of Rs 14 crore.

Similarly, National Enterprises, the lease holder of iron ore mines in Koira circle, has been served demand notice for payment of the compensation. However, the penalty imposed on the lease holder is not known. 
The demand notices have been sent as per the August 2, 2017 judgment of the Supreme Court. The apex court in its order said, “....The holder of a mining lease is required to adhere to the terms of the mining scheme, the mining plan of the lease as well as the statutes such as ERPA, FCA, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (P&CP) Act, 1981.”“If any mining operation is conducted in violation of any of these requirements, then that mining operation is illegal and unlawful,” the court order said.

The Supreme Court order further said, “In our opinion, section 21(5) of MMDR Act is applicable when any person raises without any lawful authority, any mineral from any land. The State government is entitled to recover from such person the mineral so raised or mineral has already been disposed of, the price thereof as compensation.” 

Tainted lease holders

Essel Mining and Industries Ltd - Rs 427 crore
Iron ore mines of JN 
Patnaik - Rs 21 crore
Geetarani Mohanty 
mines - Rs 14 crore
National Enterprises (penalty not known)

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